Thursday, July 29, 2010

First 6 months surprises and disappointments

So It's actually late July, almost August, but I thought I'd talk a little about the games, music, sports, and movies that have been a surprise or disappointment from the first 6 months of 2010.

Let's talk sports first.

The blue jays are a serious tease that makes you want to love, THEN HATE them in the run of about 2 weeks. They do it every year, they tear out of the gate and surprise everyone, then hit June and forget how to tie their own laces!!! This year is no different. Challenging for a wild card spot right into June, the "swoon" hit like every other year to the point where they were 2 games under .500 by the allstar break. What happened to Adam Lind and Arron Hill? I'll tell you want, they just showed their true colors. Let's not be TOO negative, as the trade for Escobar is looking good and Jose Bautista (a Pittsburgh cast off) is hitting the lights out, and my personal favorite pitcher, Shaun Marcum, is looking great.

Toronto Blue Jays: Despite some bright spots, a MAJOR disappointment.

The hated Montreal Canadiens are next. I have hated the Canadiens since I was old enough how to push a hockey puck with a stick. But this year, even in my red haze of hatred towards the most storied franchise in North American sport, I managed to jump on the bandwagon and watch them turn in a great effort in the playoffs. They took out Sid the Kid and Alexander the Great in rounds 1 and 2, and fell to a just as nice story team in Philadelphia. During this time, the now Google-able term "Halakian type effort" was coined by the brilliant play of Jaro Halak in net. (Too bad he got traded...)

Montreal Canadiens: Surprise.

Onto music.

A band that started getting itself overplayed here in Newfoundland back in the spring was "Les Respectables" out of Montreal. "Sugar", featuring former Big Sugar lead singer Gordie Johnson, is a guitar THICK song that just oozes coolness out of any speaker it is played on.

(Bad youtube video for Sugar by Les Respectables)

I managed to find me the album and found myself what could be the album of 2010, with every song having a bluesy, southern charm mixed with amazing rock guitar and vocals. It's a must for anyone who loves rock 'n' roll.

Les Respectables: MAJOR surprise. Go team!

Now, onto video games.

I've played a LOT of games this year. Maybe not as much as last year, with those whole "responsibility" and "grown up" things getting in the way, but I've still managed to get my fair share in.

Given that there are so many, I'll list with a quick though.


Wet - It's like a stylish amazing take on the Kill Bill movies. I hated the movies, but LOVED the game.
Bayonetta - Just darned fun to play.
Alpha Protocol- Once you figure it out, it's a grand experience.
Dead Rising - That game that sat on my shelf for far too long, it became an obsession.
Divinity II- A great RPG that was underrated.
Dead to Rights Retribution - A slice of the 80's for a fan of the day makes a GREAT mix.


Transformers War for Cybertron. - I felt like I was trying to sprint with a tank strapped to my ankles. It was pretty generic for a non transformers fan.
the 3D in Batman Arkham Asylum Game of the Year- After Avatar, why do they still insist on those stupid red/blue 3d glasses? A major disappointment for me.
Final Fantasy 13- Why should people wait 30 hours into a game before it gets good?

Ok, movies.

I haven't seem many movies this year compared to previous years, but let's take a look.

Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus. This is exactly as advertised, it's so terrible, it's laughably entertaining. Debbie Gibson: STOP ACTING.

Clash of the Titans. With so much promise, people shouldn't be walking out the theatre saying "Meh".

I'd write more but I'm running out of lunchtime. :P More on my next post, whenever it may land.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I hate my job? And lots of weddings to mention...

It's been a while since my last post. It's been so nice out that my lunches have been taken up with walking and enjoying the decent Newfoundland weather. Rare it is where we get 20-25 degree weather consistently.

Today I wanted to talk about how I hate my job.

Now, before you tune into a different blog and dismissing me as another fool lamenting his poor career choice, read through, and you shall be surprised.

Now, I don't actually hate my job.Yesterday I did. Today I do not. I guess it's the difference between recognizing a bad day and a good day and actual loathing for one's choice of income generation.

To give you a bit of insight, let me lay out the playing field. I work in a pressure packed job where "nearly" everything runs through my hands that concerns the business.

(I'm doing my best to be vague as to not actually say what I do and where I do it... if you are one of my co-workers, relax... I know you work your hearts out too, and my head ISN'T that big, this is the simple truth that we've all said before)

Anyway, yesterday turned out to be one of those days where there just happened to be a glut of work that had to be out in a short time frame. Now, let me tell you a little bit about me and my work habits. I like to be busy, but if I get overwhelmed I tend to get a little "antsy". This load of work yesterday felt like I was getting hit by a tidal wave and being told "good luck, get it done!". (Never, EVER said to me by my boss, this is just me relating how I felt. My bosses would NEVER say this). So, my blood pressure rose, my mind scattered, and I made a mistake because of it, which magnified the situation more.

Making a mistake at work can be debilitating for someone like me. I get anxious. My whole life revolves around my meek salary and if I were to lose it, I'd lose pretty much everything beyond the love of my wife. I feel like a prisoner to it at times... I put a lot of pressure upon myself to make sure I perform and my anxiety builds out of that pressure. If I don't perform, I'm afraid I'd lose my job. Crazy, I know. I'm actually a prisoner to that pressure, not the job itself. It's not like I'm sinking the business, I made a mistake that might have cost 6 bucks. I think I should be medicated. :P

I happen to be one of the luckiest people I know when it comes to employment. There is a small group of us, and all the people I work with ANYONE would be proud to call "friend". I have the young guy who I knew before I took the job. I have the older guy who, while cranky, is brilliant at what he does and I learn from his experience on a daily basis. I have a couple of folks who are around my age and are dealing with similar issues in life that I deal with, and have similar interests to myself. I've never felt so close to my co-workers in my entire adult career.

But those bad days... spurred on by my own anxiety, make me say in the spur of the moment "I hate my job". I have always had the problem of not thinking when I get anxious, it's like verbal diarrhea. So yesterday, I said "I hate my job". Today I say "I'm grateful for my job". I'm not even having a good day today, it's just a day. I have to learn to be able to control my emotions a little better and everything, even that occasional mistake, will take care of itself.

I am forever grateful for my job.


My Xbox time has gone down considerably the past month or two, with the good weather and the wife keeping me away. My wife has played and destroyed what was once know as "Lego Harry Potter", obliterating the ingame percentage counter and achievement list in a manner of about 2 weeks. I've managed to find myself copies of Crackdown 2 and Dante's Inferno (love that "trade swindle" >> see older posts<<) but both are really just sitting on the shelf. I've played a lot of Dragon Quest 9 on Nintendo DS in it's stead, but still not near my usual game time.


Many congratulations go out to good friends Jay and Jennifer, who got married this past weekend.


Many congratz go out to Joby and Amanda as well, friends who will be taking the marriage dive this coming friday. Still hope I can get that time off! :D


In closing... just because you have a bad day, doesn't mean that your job sucks. Look at the job, look at yourself, and see how YOU can make your day better through relaxing and keeping at it. Don't make yourself a prisoner to stress.


video games are great stress relievers. :D

See you next time!


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ahhh, a chance to blog.

It's been a few days since I last wrote to you time wasters out there. It's funny how I feel a strange sense of privilege from doing this. Saying it's cool to blog is like saying Bow ties are cool. The ones who like it just go skittles over it, and the rest turn their noses up to it. I suppose it's like anything really. No matter.

Well, being back at work has really helped me get myself back into routine. I'm getting to bed at normal times, doing things more on a regular basis. Vacation can really throw that for a loop, hey. Today happens to be Canada Day though, so I'm not actually at work, I'm sitting home enjoying a little paid r'n'r. My wife picked up a game last night, so my Xbox time will go down drastically over the next few weeks. She's a sucker for Lego games, and picked up Lego Harry Potter. It's really cute stuff, and it has some well laid out puzzles, probably some of the best non-annoying puzzles I've ever seen in a game. I don't know why I don't like it as much. I guess I just like a little more "action" in my games. I picked up the game of the year edition of Batman Arkham asylum in 3D. The 3D is nothing to write home about, but it does add a little to the game.

I haven't been shooting very much of late, as I think I got a little "pictured-out" over vacation. I picked up 50mm f1.8 prime lense and I've really liked some of the results thus far. I need to learn how to shoot better in low light. I will be contributing to wedding photography at a couple of weddings this month and want to give it a good showing as I hope to start doing weddings as a low cost option for people who cannot afford the standard wedding photographer's 12 million dollar asking price. I am hesitant to shoot with a flash, as it would be just as well I shoot with an old point and click and get those "party" pictures everyone seems to have where you are half drunk and waving a beer at the camera. I can try boosting my ISO speed a little as well. THe pictures will have a little noise but I can clean a lot of that up in Photoshop.

I went to Spiritfest 2010 this past weekend thanks to some free tickets given to me by my boss last week (if you are reading, thanks again!). It was a wonderful, dress up styled event that allows one to expand their knowledge on drink mixing, experience the "oh so rare" real night out in St. John's, and you get to drink yourself into oblivion and still feel classy. It was a great night! I have a bunch of new drink mixes, some neat little drink mixers, and a few great memories. I did feel a little old down there, as I'm sure that the average age was around 21 or 22, but it didn't really matter. It was a lot of fun.

I caught the season finale of Doctor Who this weekend as well. Anyone who enjoys great scifi owes it to themselves to watch this program. There are 13 episodes to a season, and each episode is written into each other like a well stitched tapestry. I won't get into stories, as it's best you experience them first hand rather than any hack job I could do in describing such a well laid out story. Truth be told, Doctor Who has seriously upgraded it's quality from the campy, over acted, cheaply done sci-fi that many watch because there is nothing else on TV to an incredible "experience" in sci-fi story telling.

Have a good canada day folks. See you again soon.